Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Search results for: neighbourhood

21 Identifying Neighborhoods at Potential Risk of Food Insecurity in Rural British Columbia

Authors: Amirmohsen Behjat, Aleck Ostry, Christina Miewald, Bernie Pauly

Abstract:

Substantial research has indicated that socioeconomic and demographic characteristics’ of neighborhoods are strong determinants of food security. The aim of this study was to develop a Food Insecurity Neighborhood Index (FINI) based on the associated socioeconomic and demographic variables to identify the areas at potential risk of food insecurity in rural British Columbia (BC). Principle Component Analysis (PCA) technique was used to calculate the FINI for each rural Dissemination Area (DA) using the food security determinant variables from Canadian Census data. Using ArcGIS, the neighborhoods with the top quartile FINI values were classified as food insecure. The results of this study indicated that the most food insecure neighborhood with the highest FINI value of 99.1 was in the Bulkley-Nechako (central BC) area whereas the lowest FINI with the value of 2.97 was for a rural neighborhood in the Cowichan Valley area. In total, 98.049 (19%) of the rural population of British Columbians reside in high food insecure areas. Moreover, the distribution of food insecure neighborhoods was found to be strongly dependent on the degree of rurality in BC. In conclusion, the cluster of food insecure neighbourhoods was more pronounced in Central Coast, Mount Wadington, Peace River, Kootenay Boundary, and the Alberni-Clayoqout Regional Districts.

Keywords: Principal Component Analysis, ArcGIS, socioeconomic and demographic determinants, Canada census, Neighbourhood food insecurity index

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20 The Relationship between Land Use Factors and Feeling of Happiness at the Neighbourhood Level

Authors: M. Moeinaddini, Z. Asadi-Shekari, Z. Sultan, M. Zaly Shah

Abstract:

Happiness can be related to everything that can provide a feeling of satisfaction or pleasure. This study tries to consider the relationship between land use factors and feeling of happiness at the neighbourhood level. Land use variables (beautiful and attractive neighbourhood design, availability and quality of shopping centres, sufficient recreational spaces and facilities, and sufficient daily service centres) are used as independent variables and the happiness score is used as the dependent variable in this study. In addition to the land use variables, socio-economic factors (gender, race, marital status, employment status, education, and income) are also considered as independent variables. This study uses the Oxford happiness questionnaire to estimate happiness score of more than 300 people living in six neighbourhoods. The neighbourhoods are selected randomly from Skudai neighbourhoods in Johor, Malaysia. The land use data were obtained by adding related questions to the Oxford happiness questionnaire. The strength of the relationship in this study is found using generalised linear modelling (GLM). The findings of this research indicate that increase in happiness feeling is correlated with an increasing income, more beautiful and attractive neighbourhood design, sufficient shopping centres, recreational spaces, and daily service centres. The results show that all land use factors in this study have significant relationship with happiness but only income, among socio-economic factors, can affect happiness significantly. Therefore, land use factors can affect happiness in Skudai more than socio-economic factors.

Keywords: Happiness, socio-economic factors, neighbourhood design, neighbourhood land use, generalised linear modelling

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19 Evaluation of Neighbourhood Characteristics and Active Transport Mode Choice

Authors: Tayebeh Saghapour, Sara Moridpour, Russell George Thompson

Abstract:

One of the common aims of transport policy makers is to switch people’s travel to active transport. For this purpose, a variety of transport goals and investments should be programmed to increase the propensity towards active transport mode choice. This paper aims to investigate whether built environment features in neighbourhoods could enhance the odds of active transportation. The present study introduces an index measuring public transport accessibility (PTAI), and a walkability index along with socioeconomic variables to investigate mode choice behaviour. Using travel behaviour data, an ordered logit regression model is applied to examine the impacts of explanatory variables on walking trips. The findings indicated that high rates of active travel are consistently associated with higher levels of walking and public transport accessibility.

Keywords: Walkability, public transport accessibility, active transport, ordered logit model

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18 Perception of Neighbourhood-Level Built Environment in Relation to Youth Physical Activity in Malaysia

Authors: A. Abdullah, N. Faghih Mirzaei, S. Hany Haron

Abstract:

Neighbourhood environment walkability on reported physical activity (PA) levels of students of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Malaysia. Compared with previous generations, today’s young people spend less time playing outdoors and have lower participation rates in PA. Research suggests that negative perceptions of neighbourhood walkability may be a potential barrier to adolescents’ PA. The sample consisted of 200 USM students (to 24 years old) who live outside of the main campus and engage in PA in sport halls and sport fields of USM. The data were analysed using the t-test, binary logistic regression, and discriminant analysis techniques. The present study found that youth PA was affected by neighbourhood environment walkability factors, including neighbourhood infrastructures, neighbourhood safety (crime), and recreation facilities, as well as street characteristics and neighbourhood design variables such as facades of sidewalks, roadside trees, green spaces, and aesthetics. The finding also illustrated that active students were influenced by street connectivity, neighbourhood infrastructures, recreation facilities, facades of sidewalks, and aesthetics, whereas students in the less active group were affected by access to destinations, neighbourhood safety (crime), and roadside trees and green spaces for their PAs. These results report which factors of built environments have more effect on youth PA and they message to the public to create more awareness about the benefits of PA on youth health.

Keywords: Physical Activities, fear of crime, neighbourhood built environment, street characteristics design

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17 Socio-Demographic Characteristics and Psychosocial Consequences of Sickle Cell Disease: The Case of Patients in a Public Hospital in Ghana

Authors: Vincent A. Adzika, Franklin N. Glozah, Collins S. K. Ahorlu

Abstract:

Background: Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is of major public-health concern globally, with majority of patients living in Africa. Despite its relevance, there is a dearth of research to determine the socio-demographic distribution and psychosocial impact of SCD in Africa. The objective of this study therefore was to examine the socio-demographic distribution and psychosocial consequences of SCD among patients in Ghana and to assess their quality of life and coping mechanisms. Methods: A cross-sectional research design was used, involving the completion of questionnaires on socio-demographic characteristics, quality of life of individuals, anxiety and depression. Participants were 387 male and female patients attending a sickle cell clinic in a public hospital. Results: Results showed no gender and marital status differences in anxiety and depression. However, there were age and level of education variances in depression but not in anxiety. In terms of quality of life, patients were more satisfied by the presence of love, friends, relatives as well as home, community and neighbourhood environment. While pains of varied nature and severity were the major reasons for attending hospital in SCD condition, going to the hospital as well as having Faith in God was the frequently reported mechanisms for coping with an unbearable SCD attacks. Multiple regression analysis showed that some socio-demographic and quality of life indicators had strong associations with anxiety and/or depression. Conclusion: It is recommended that a multi-dimensional intervention strategy incorporating psychosocial dimensions should be considered in the treatment and management of SCD.

Keywords: Depression, Anxiety, Quality of Life, Sickle cell disease, Ghana, socio-demographic characteristics

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16 Exploring Communities of Practice through Public Health Walks for Nurse Education

Authors: Jacqueline P. Davies

Abstract:

Introduction: Student nurses must develop skills in observation, communication and reflection as well as public health knowledge from their first year of training. This paper will explain a method developed for students to collect their own findings about public health in urban areas. These areas are both rich in the history of old public health that informs the content of many traditional public health walks, but are also locations where new public health concerns about chronic disease are concentrated. The learning method explained in this paper enables students to collect their own data and write original work as first year students. Examples of their findings will be given. Methodology: In small groups, health care students are instructed to walk in neighbourhoods near to the hospitals they will soon attend as apprentice nurses. On their walks, they wander slowly, engage in conversations, and enter places open to the public. As they drift, they observe with all five senses in the real three dimensional world to collect data for their reflective accounts of old and new public health. They are encouraged to stop for refreshments and taste, as well as look, hear, smell, and touch while on their walk. They reflect as a group and later develop an individual reflective account in which they write up their deep reflections about what they observed on their walk. In preparation for their walk, they are encouraged to look at studies of quality of Life and other neighbourhood statistics as well as undertaking a risk assessment for their walk. Findings: Reflecting on their walks, students apply theoretical concepts around social determinants of health and health inequalities to develop their understanding of communities in the neighbourhoods visited. They write about the treasured historical architecture made of stone, bronze and marble which have outlived those who built them; but also how the streets are used now. The students develop their observations into thematic analyses such as: what we drink as illustrated by the empty coke can tossed into a now disused drinking fountain; the shift in home-life balance illustrated by streets where families once lived over the shop which are now walked by commuters weaving around each other as they talk on their mobile phones; and security on the street, with CCTV cameras placed at regular intervals, signs warning trespasses and barbed wire; but little evidence of local people watching the street. Conclusion: In evaluations of their first year, students have reported the health walk as one of their best experiences. The innovative approach was commended by the UK governing body of nurse education and it received a quality award from the nurse education funding body. This approach to education allows students to develop skills in the real world and write original work.

Keywords: Education, Urban, innovation. nursing

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15 A Quasi-Systematic Review on Effectiveness of Social and Cultural Sustainability Practices in Built Environment

Authors: Asif Ali, Daud Salim Faruquie

Abstract:

With the advancement of knowledge about the utility and impact of sustainability, its feasibility has been explored into different walks of life. Scientists, however; have established their knowledge in four areas viz environmental, economic, social and cultural, popularly termed as four pillars of sustainability. Aspects of environmental and economic sustainability have been rigorously researched and practiced and huge volume of strong evidence of effectiveness has been founded for these two sub-areas. For the social and cultural aspects of sustainability, dependable evidence of effectiveness is still to be instituted as the researchers and practitioners are developing and experimenting methods across the globe. Therefore, the present research aimed to identify globally used practices of social and cultural sustainability and through evidence synthesis assess their outcomes to determine the effectiveness of those practices. A PICO format steered the methodology which included all populations, popular sustainability practices including walkability/cycle tracks, social/recreational spaces, privacy, health & human services and barrier free built environment, comparators included ‘Before’ and ‘After’, ‘With’ and ‘Without’, ‘More’ and ‘Less’ and outcomes included Social well-being, cultural coexistence, quality of life, ethics and morality, social capital, sense of place, education, health, recreation and leisure, and holistic development. Search of literature included major electronic databases, search websites, organizational resources, directory of open access journals and subscribed journals. Grey literature, however, was not included. Inclusion criteria filtered studies on the basis of research designs such as total randomization, quasirandomization, cluster randomization, observational or single studies and certain types of analysis. Studies with combined outcomes were considered but studies focusing only on environmental and/or economic outcomes were rejected. Data extraction, critical appraisal and evidence synthesis was carried out using customized tabulation, reference manager and CASP tool. Partial meta-analysis was carried out and calculation of pooled effects and forest plotting were done. As many as 13 studies finally included for final synthesis explained the impact of targeted practices on health, behavioural and social dimensions. Objectivity in the measurement of health outcomes facilitated quantitative synthesis of studies which highlighted the impact of sustainability methods on physical activity, Body Mass Index, perinatal outcomes and child health. Studies synthesized qualitatively (and also quantitatively) showed outcomes such as routines, family relations, citizenship, trust in relationships, social inclusion, neighbourhood social capital, wellbeing, habitability and family’s social processes. The synthesized evidence indicates slight effectiveness and efficacy of social and cultural sustainability on the targeted outcomes. Further synthesis revealed that such results of this study are due weak research designs and disintegrated implementations. If architects and other practitioners deliver their interventions in collaboration with research bodies and policy makers, a stronger evidence-base in this area could be generated.

Keywords: Built Environment, Sustainable Architecture, Cultural Sustainability, social sustainability

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14 A Look at the Gezi Park Protests through the Lens of Media

Authors: Süleyman Hakan Yılmaz, Yasemin Gülşen Yılmaz

Abstract:

The Gezi Park protests of 2013 have significantly changed the Turkish agenda and its effects have been felt historically. The protests, which rapidly spread throughout the country, were triggered by the proposal to recreate the Ottoman Army Barracks to function as a shopping mall on Gezi Park located in Istanbul’s Taksim neighbourhood despite the oppositions of several NGOs and when trees were cut in the park for this purpose. Once the news that the construction vehicles entered the park on May 27 spread on social media, activists moved into the park to stop the demolition, against whom the police used disproportioned force. With this police intervention and the then prime-minister Tayyip Erdoğan's insistent statements about the construction plans, the protests turned into anti- government demonstrations, which then spread to the rest of the country, mainly in big cities like Ankara and Izmir. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ June 23rd reports, 2.5 million people joined the demonstrations in 79 provinces, that is all of them, except for the provinces of Bayburt and Bingöl, while even more people shared their opinions via social networks. As a result of these events, 8 civilians and 2 security personnel lost their lives, namely police chief Mustafa Sarı, police officer Ahmet Küçükdağ, citizens Mehmet Ayvalıtaş, Abdullah Cömert, Ethem Sarısülük, Ali İsmail Korkmaz, Ahmet Atakan, Berkin Elvan, Burak Can Karamanoğlu, Mehmet İstif, and Elif Çermik, and 8163 more were injured. Besides being a turning point in Turkish history, the Gezi Park protests also had broad repercussions in both in Turkish and in global media, which focused on Turkey throughout the events. Our study conducts content analysis of three Turkish reporting newspapers with varying ideological standpoints, Hürriyet, Cumhuriyet ve Yeni Şafak, in order to reveal their basic approach to news casting in context of the Gezi Park protests. Headlines, news segments, and news content relating to the Gezi protests were treated and analysed for this purpose. The aim of this study is to understand the social effects of the Gezi Park protests through media samples with varying political attitudes towards news casting.

Keywords: Media, tree, Gezi Park, news casting

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13 Multipath Routing Protocol Using Basic Reconstruction Routing (BRR) Algorithm in Wireless Sensor Network

Authors: K. Rajasekaran, Kannan Balasubramanian

Abstract:

A sensory network consists of multiple detection locations called sensor nodes, each of which is tiny, featherweight and portable. A single path routing protocols in wireless sensor network can lead to holes in the network, since only the nodes present in the single path is used for the data transmission. Apart from the advantages like reduced computation, complexity and resource utilization, there are some drawbacks like throughput, increased traffic load and delay in data delivery. Therefore, multipath routing protocols are preferred for WSN. Distributing the traffic among multiple paths increases the network lifetime. We propose a scheme, for the data to be transmitted through a dominant path to save energy. In order to obtain a high delivery ratio, a basic route reconstruction protocol is utilized to reconstruct the path whenever a failure is detected. A basic reconstruction routing (BRR) algorithm is proposed, in which a node can leap over path failure by using the already existing routing information from its neighbourhood while the composed data is transmitted from the source to the sink. In order to save the energy and attain high data delivery ratio, data is transmitted along a multiple path, which is achieved by BRR algorithm whenever a failure is detected. Further, the analysis of how the proposed protocol overcomes the drawback of the existing protocols is presented. The performance of our protocol is compared to AOMDV and energy efficient node-disjoint multipath routing protocol (EENDMRP). The system is implemented using NS-2.34. The simulation results show that the proposed protocol has high delivery ratio with low energy consumption.

Keywords: Energy Efficient Routing, WSN, Multipath Routing, alternate route, assured data delivery

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12 Urban Citizenship in a Sensor Rich Society

Authors: Mike Dee

Abstract:

Urban public spaces are sutured with a range of surveillance and sensor technologies that claim to enable new forms of ‘data based citizen participation’, but also increase the tendency for ‘function-creep’, whereby vast amounts of data are gathered, stored and analysed in a broad application of urban surveillance. This kind of monitoring and capacity for surveillance connects with attempts by civic authorities to regulate, restrict, rebrand and reframe urban public spaces. A direct consequence of the increasingly security driven, policed, privatised and surveilled nature of public space is the exclusion or ‘unfavourable inclusion’ of those considered flawed and unwelcome in the ‘spectacular’ consumption spaces of many major urban centres. In the name of urban regeneration, programs of securitisation, ‘gentrification’ and ‘creative’ and ‘smart’ city initiatives refashion public space as sites of selective inclusion and exclusion. In this context of monitoring and control procedures, in particular, children and young people’s use of space in parks, neighbourhoods, shopping malls and streets is often viewed as a threat to the social order, requiring various forms of remedial action. This paper suggests that cities, places and spaces and those who seek to use them, can be resilient in working to maintain and extend democratic freedoms and processes enshrined in Marshall’s concept of citizenship, calling sensor and surveillance systems to account. Such accountability could better inform the implementation of public policy around the design, build and governance of public space and also understandings of urban citizenship in the sensor saturated urban environment.

Keywords: Surveillance, Citizenship, Public space, Young People

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11 The Impacts of Off-Campus Students on Local Neighbourhood in Malaysia

Authors: Dasimah Bt Omar, Faizul Abdullah, Fatimah Yusof, Hazlina Hamdan, Naasah Nasrudin, Ishak Che Abullah

Abstract:

The impacts of near-campus student housing, or offcampus students accommodation cannot be ignored by the universities and as well as the community officials. Numerous scholarly studies, have highlighted the substantial economic impacts either; direct, indirect or induced, and cumulatively the roles of the universities have significantly contributed to the local economies. The issue of the impacts of off-campus student rental housing on neighbourhoods is one that has been of long-standing but increasing concern in Malaysia. Statistically, in Malaysia, there was approximately a total of 1.2 - 1.5 million students in 2009. By the year 2015, it is expected that 50 per cent of 18 to 30 year olds active population should gain access to university education, amounting to 120,000 yearly. The objectives of the research are to assess the impacts off-campus students on the local neighbourhood and specifically to obtain information on the living and learning conditions of off-campus students of Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam, Malaysia. It is also to isolate those factors that may impede the successful learning so that priority can be given to them in subsequent policy implementations and actions by government and the higher education institutions.

Keywords: Impacts, neighbourhood, off-campus students, living and learning conditions

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10 Dimension Reduction of Microarray Data Based on Local Principal Component

Authors: Ali Anaissi, Paul J. Kennedy, Madhu Goyal

Abstract:

Analysis and visualization of microarraydata is veryassistantfor biologists and clinicians in the field of diagnosis and treatment of patients. It allows Clinicians to better understand the structure of microarray and facilitates understanding gene expression in cells. However, microarray dataset is a complex data set and has thousands of features and a very small number of observations. This very high dimensional data set often contains some noise, non-useful information and a small number of relevant features for disease or genotype. This paper proposes a non-linear dimensionality reduction algorithm Local Principal Component (LPC) which aims to maps high dimensional data to a lower dimensional space. The reduced data represents the most important variables underlying the original data. Experimental results and comparisons are presented to show the quality of the proposed algorithm. Moreover, experiments also show how this algorithm reduces high dimensional data whilst preserving the neighbourhoods of the points in the low dimensional space as in the high dimensional space.

Keywords: Principal Component Analysis, Linear Dimension Reduction, Non-Linear Dimension Reduction, Biologists

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9 Trends, Problems and Needs of Urban Housing in Malaysia

Authors: Salfarina A.G., Nor Malina M., Azrina H.

Abstract:

The right to housing is a basic need while good quality and affordable housing is a reflection of a high quality of life. However, housing remains a major problem for most, especially for the bottom billions. Satisfaction on housing and neighbourhood conditions are one of the important indicators that reflect quality of life. These indicators are also important in the process of evaluating housing policy with the objective to increase the quality of housing and neighbourhood. The research method is purely based on a quantitative method, using a survey. The findings show that housing purchasing trend in urban Malaysia is determined by demographic profiles, mainly by education level, age, gender and income. The period of housing ownership also influenced the socio-cultural interactions and satisfaction of house owners with their neighbourhoods. The findings also show that the main concerns for house buyers in urban areas are price and location of the house. Respondents feel that houses in urban Malaysia is too expensive and beyond their affordability. Location of houses and distance from work place are also regarded as the main concern. However, respondents are fairly satisfied with religious and socio-cultural facilities in the housing areas and most importantly not many regard ethnicity as an issue in their decision-making, when buying a house.

Keywords: Housing, Urban Housing, Malaysia

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8 Application of “Streamlined” Material Accounting to Estimate Environmental Impact

Authors: Paul Osmond

Abstract:

This paper reports a new application of material accounting techniques to characterise and quantify material stocks and flows at the “neighbourhood" scale. The study area is the main campus of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The system boundary is defined by the urban structural unit (USU), a typological construct devised to facilitate assessment of the metabolism of urban systems. A streamlined material flow analysis (MFA) was applied to quantify the stocks and flows of key construction materials within the campus USU over time, drawing on empirical data from a major campus development project. The results are reviewed to assess the efficacy of the method in supporting urban environmental evaluation and design practice, for example to facilitate estimation of significant impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions. It is concluded that linking a service (in this case, teaching students) enabled by a given product (university buildings) to the amount of materials used in creating that product offers a potential way to reduce the environmental impact of that service, through more efficient use of materials.

Keywords: Construction Materials, Urban Metabolism, material flow analysis, urban structural unit

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7 Valuing Environmental Impact of Air Pollution in Moscow with Hedonic Prices

Authors: V. Komarova

Abstract:

The main purpose of this research is the calculation of implicit prices of the environmental level of air quality in the city of Moscow on the basis of housing property prices. The database used contains records of approximately 20 thousand apartments and has been provided by a leading real estate agency operating in Russia. The explanatory variables include physical characteristics of the houses, environmental (industry emissions), neighbourhood sociodemographic and geographic data: GPS coordinates of each house. The hedonic regression results for ecological variables show «negative» prices while increasing the level of air contamination from such substances as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and particles (CO, NO2, SO2, TSP). The marginal willingness to pay for higher environmental quality is presented for linear and log-log models.

Keywords: Air Pollution, Environment, Real Estate, willingness to pay, hedonic prices

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6 Environmental Sanitation and Health Risks in Tropical Urban Settings: Case Study of Household Refuse and Diarrhea in Yaoundé-Cameroon

Authors: H. B. Nguendo Yongsi, Thora M. Herrmann, A. Lutumba Ntetu, Rémy Sietchiping, Christopher Bryant

Abstract:

Health problems linked to urban growth are current major concerns of developing countries. In 2002 and 2005, an interdisciplinary program “Populations et Espaces ├á Risques SANitaires" (PERSAN) was set up under the patronage of the Development and Research Institute. Centered on health in Cameroon-s urban environment, the program mainly sought to (i) identify diarrhoea risk factors in Yaoundé, (ii) to measure their prevalence and apprehend their spatial distribution. The crosssectional epidemiological study that was carried out revealed a diarrheic prevalence of 14.4% (437 cases of diarrhoea on the 3,034 children examined). Also, among risk factors studied, household refuse management methods used by city dwellers were statistically associated to these diarrhoeas. Moreover, it happened that levels of diarrhoeal attacks varied consistently from one neighbourhood to another because of the discrepancy urbanization process of the Yaoundé metropolis.

Keywords: Sanitation, health risk, Diarrhea, household refuses handling, Yaoundé

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5 Application of a Time-Frequency-Based Blind Source Separation to an Instantaneous Mixture of Secondary Radar Sources

Authors: M. Tria, M. Benidir, E. Chaumette

Abstract:

In Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) systems, it is more difficult to locate and recognise aircrafts in the neighbourhood of civil airports since aerial traffic becomes greater. Here, we propose to apply a recent Blind Source Separation (BSS) algorithm based on Time-Frequency Analysis, in order to separate messages sent by different aircrafts and falling in the same radar beam in reception. The above source separation method involves joint-diagonalization of a set of smoothed version of spatial Wigner-Ville distributions. The technique makes use of the difference in the t-f signatures of the nonstationary sources to be separated. Consequently, as the SSR sources emit different messages at different frequencies, the above fitted to this new application. We applied the technique in simulation to separate SSR replies. Results are provided at the end of the paper.

Keywords: Time-Frequency Analysis, blind source separation, Secondary Radar

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4 Influence of Textured Clusters on the Goss Grains Growth in Silicon Steels Consideration of Energy and Mobility

Authors: H. Afer, N. Rouag, R. Penelle

Abstract:

In the Fe-3%Si sheets, grade Hi-B, with AlN and MnS as inhibitors, the Goss grains which abnormally grow do not have a size greater than the average size of the primary matrix. In this heterogeneous microstructure, the size factor is not a required condition for the secondary recrystallization. The onset of the small Goss grain abnormal growth appears to be related to a particular behavior of their grain boundaries, to the local texture and to the distribution of the inhibitors. The presence and the evolution of oriented clusters ensure to the small Goss grains a favorable neighborhood to grow. The modified Monte-Carlo approach, which is applied, considers the local environment of each grain. The grain growth is dependent of its real spatial position; the matrix heterogeneity is then taken into account. The grain growth conditions are considered in the global matrix and in different matrixes corresponding to A component clusters. The grain growth behaviour is considered with introduction of energy only, energy and mobility, energy and mobility and precipitates.

Keywords: abnormal grain growth, neighbourhood, grain boundary energy andmobility, oriented clusters

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3 Citizen Participation in Informal Settlements; Potentials & Obstacles - The Case of Iran, Shiraz, Saadi Community

Authors: Hamid Mohammadi Makerani

Abstract:

In recent years, “Bottom-up Planning Approach" has been widely accepted and expanded from planning theorists. Citizen participation becomes more important in decision-making in informal settlements. Many of previous projects and strategies due to ignorance of citizen participation, have been failed facing with informal settlements and in some cases lead physical expansion of these neighbourhoods. According to recent experiences, the new participatory approach was in somehow successful. This paper focuses on local experiences in Iran. A considerable amount of people live in informal settlements in Iran. With the previous methods, the government could not solve the problems of these settlements. It is time to examine new methods such as empowerment of the local citizens and involve them to solve the current physical, social, and economic problems. The paper aims to address the previous and new strategies facing with informal settlements, the conditions under which citizens could be involved in planning process, limits and potentials of this process, the main actors and issues and finally motivations that are able to promote citizen participation. Documentary studies, observation, interview and questionnaire have been used to achieve the above mentioned objectives. Nearly 80 percent of responder in Saadi Community are ready to participate in regularising their neighbourhoods, if pre-conditions of citizen involvement are being provided. These pre-conditions include kind of problem and its severity, the importance of issue, existence of a short-term solution, etc. Moreover, confirmation of dweller-s ownership can promote the citizen engagement in participatory projects.

Keywords: citizen participation, informal settlements, local resources, Bottom-up Planning

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2 Effect of Neighborhood Size on Negative Weights in Punctual Kriging Based Image Restoration

Authors: Asmatullah Chaudhry, Anwar M. Mirza

Abstract:

We present a general comparison of punctual kriging based image restoration for different neighbourhood sizes. The formulation of the technique under consideration is based on punctual kriging and fuzzy concepts for image restoration in spatial domain. Three different neighbourhood windows are considered to estimate the semivariance at different lags for studying its effect in reduction of negative weights resulted in punctual kriging, consequently restoration of degraded images. Our results show that effect of neighbourhood size higher than 5x5 on reduction in negative weights is insignificant. In addition, image quality measures, such as structure similarity indices, peak signal to noise ratios and the new variogram based quality measures; show that 3x3 window size gives better performance as compared with larger window sizes.

Keywords: image restoration, punctual kriging, semi-variance, structure similarity index, negative weights in punctual kriging

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1 A New Heuristic for Improving the Performance of Genetic Algorithm

Authors: Warattapop Chainate, Peeraya Thapatsuwan, Pupong Pongcharoen

Abstract:

The hybridisation of genetic algorithm with heuristics has been shown to be one of an effective way to improve its performance. In this work, genetic algorithm hybridised with four heuristics including a new heuristic called neighbourhood improvement were investigated through the classical travelling salesman problem. The experimental results showed that the proposed heuristic outperformed other heuristics both in terms of quality of the results obtained and the computational time.

Keywords: Metaheuristics, Genetic Algorithm, travelling salesman problem, hybridisation

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